Category: 1st XV

Oban Lorne Ladies 53-0 Kelso

After a couple of weekends off, the Green Army took to the pitch once more, this time at North Connel against visitors Kelso Women. With snow on the surrounding hills, it was a cold match, with conditions underfoot not ideal on the water-logged and muddy pitch. The visiting team of 17 players made their long journey to Oban the day prior to the match to arrive on the pitch fresh faced so Oban were expecting a tough, physical game. Oban began with matching numbers, although one substitute was already suffering from a broken finger before the game began.
Despite appearances, Kelso’s size and strength was no match for the Oban team on the day. Determined to maintain their undefeated record in the league to date, every single player worked hard from start to finish. The focus of recent training has been defence, which showed in the game as Kelso were not afforded any breakthrough runs at any point in the match.
The opening try of the game came for prop Georgia Mitchell after only 2 minutes, running straight through the Kelso defence to dive over the line, successfully converted by fly half Lucy Stewart. Five minutes later, Oban secured their second try, this time up the left wing for Rachel MacDonald, although Kelso fought hard to try and hold her up. Outside centre Erika Skofca smashed through the defensive line for another piece of impressive individual play as she brought the score to 19-0 after 12 minutes of play. This was quickly followed by another try for MacDonald, once more showing her impressive speed up the wing. Stewart was then afforded a try herself, keeping hold of the ball at fly half position from a breakdown to smash through the Kelso defence once more as missed tackles started to become their undoing. The Oban forward pack played impressively throughout the match, turning over multiple scrums under slippery conditions and securing the ball for the backs to show off their best moves. Some good handling and a well-executed set piece brought the ball to Skofca once more as she secured the final try of the first half, bringing the score to 38-0 at the whistle.
A hattrick for Skofca opened the second half, as she shrugged off tackles left, right and centre, sitting two Kelso players on the ground as they attempted to get in her way. Oban have certainly benefitted from her wealth of playing experience in Italy before joining the squad. Try number 8 of the match came for prop Ellie MacNiven, once more running straight through Kelso’s defensive line to drive over the try line. Kelso rallied as the second half played out, and Oban were beginning to show fatigue. The hosts allowed them significantly more time in Oban’s half during this 40 minutes than the opening equivalent. However, after some motivational encouragement from Captain Laura MacCormick and coach for the day Darrell Williams this was put to an end, and the final score of the game was a well-deserved try from quietly determined scrum half Audrey Barr, bringing the final score to 53-0.
Once more Oban Ladies have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with, despite initial feelings of uncertainty as the unknown Kelso team arrived in Oban. Impressively, they have managed to maintain their record of 0 points conceded in the whole season of league matches and aim to continue this winning streak against RDVC in Edinburgh next Sunday. The ladies train on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7pm, with information about this typically shared on their Facebook page ‘Oban Lorne Ladies Rugby Club’.

Oban Lorne 8-10 Irvine

BT WEST DIVISION 1
SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER
OBAN LORNE 8-10 EAST KILBRIDE
Oban Lorne took on mid table East Kilbride RFC at Glencruitten on Saturday as the home side looked to build on last weekends 28-12 win against bottom of the league Irvine RFC.
The Greenmachine have been struggling for a consistent team this season bit have rallied over the past couple of weeks to gather a more settled and consistent squad.
Front row options still pose a problem for Oban with Liam Burns and Tommy Sutherland missing for this game. Prop Darren Miller started his first game of the season while Cammy Smith also started after his try scoring appearance last weekend. There was also a return in the backline for powerful centre Callum MacLachlan.
Saturdays match was a physical affair with both forward packs cancelling eachother out at the breakdown. Oban failed to create any rhythm to their game with a misfiring lineout and a struggling scrum denying them with any constant possession.
Despite struggling at the set piece Oban led the first half 3-0 with a Finlay Carmichael penalty. The hosts defensive shape was also holding well after a barrage of attacks from a big EK pack.
Oban started to tire in the second period as the visitors hit back with a penalty to tie the score at 3-3. The game could have gone either way at this point with EK dominating territory and possession but Oban looking dangerous on the counter with a couple of promising breaks.
A series of powerful play from the visitors resulted in the first try of the day with 15 minutes to go giving Oban a 10-3 deficit to recover from going into the closing stages.
The East Kilbride try seemed to waken the men in green as they dominated the remaining stages of the game. A Carmichael penalty with 10 minutes to go sailed narrowly wide before Oban started a barrage of attacks on the tryline.
Oban looked to score on a number of occasions with powerful runs from the likes of Connor Ferris, Jack Strachan and Corrie Louw. The away defence held firm but started to become ill disciplined and lost a player to the sin bin with a few minutes remaining.
Oban pushed and pushed for a try which eventually came on the last play of the game with Prop Connor Ferris forcing himself over the line. Unfortunately the conversion attempt was narrowly missed meaning the visitors took the spoils 10-8 in what was a very physical encounter.
The Oban performance met the standards expected from the side over the few years showing that huge improvements have been made over the past few weeks after a couple of heavy defeats.
This Saturday Oban make the long trip to face fellow league strugglers Stewartry RFC in Castle Douglas in what could prove to be a season defining game.
Oban Lorne’s next home fixture is against league new comers Greenock Wanderers RFC on Saturday 21st of October.

Oban Lorne Ladies 68-0 Grangemouth

BT WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 2

Oban Lorne Ladies 68-0 Grangemouth Stagettes

On a drizzly, grey day a slightly diminished Oban side turned out to take on their main competitors at the top of BT Women’s National League 2 Grangemouth Stagettes at home. With their captain and vice captain unavailable, the Oban side was led by last games’ player of the match Veronica Speirse who captained the team for the first time. Missing players meant the match started with uncontested scrums.
Oban kicked to start, and followed this up with some dominant play, particularly strong ball carrying from the forwards allowing prop Ellie MacNiven to score within the opening minutes. After some strong tackles and Grangemouth errors, an Oban scrum on the half way line allowed outside centre Erika Skofca to burst through the Grangemouth defence before offloading to winger Ellen Barlow to score under the posts.
The home side continued to challenge the visitors and a well executed line-out allowed scrum half Audrey Barr to ship the ball wide. A clever line by Skofca allowed inside centre Kelly Lamont an attempt at the try line, before popping the ball to winger Rachel MacDonald who sealed the team’s third try of the game. This brought the score to 21-0 after just 15 minutes. Oban continued the pressure on Grangemouth’s 5m line but the team in red maintained a good defensive line and repeatedly drove the Green Army back. Number 8 Camilla Leslie eventually burst over the line with great support from fellow forwards. A knock on by green meant a Grangemouth scrum in the Oban half, with the visiting team looking dangerous for the first time as the ball was eventually held up over the line.
With slippery conditions the game was spattered with knock ons and messy play by both sides, with an Oban scrum resulting in a second try for Barlow under posts. This was shortly followed by another try, this time following a convincing piece of individual running by Lamont. The Oban forwards were taking the ball forward into relentless Grangemouth tackles, who continued to challenge Oban throughout, before the ball was taken on by fly half Lucy Stewart up half the pitch for a try. This brought the half time score to 49-0, with all successful conversions also taken by Stewart. The majority of the game until now had been played in the Grangemouth half but the reds kept a good defence throughout and made Oban work for their points.
With the start of the second half Grangemouth came out with a renewed vengeance. Oban retaliated however, with full back Howdo Bean taking the ball out to the wing before passing to Stewart for her second try. From here the referee’s decisions were not favouring the girls in green, with repeated errors including high tackles, knock ons and forward passes being called. This meant that despite their dominance they were unable to make much ground. Using the full capabilities of their ball handling skills, the backs were able to swing right from one wing to the other, and a carefully timed offload from Skofca allowed Lamont to shrug off tackles and score her second try under the posts. With the conversion for this try and 20 minutes of play still to go the referee unexpectedly blew his whistle for full time at the Grangemouth coach’s request. This meant the final score was 68-0 to the home team, maintaining their winning streak and yet to concede any points in the league thus far.
Oban ladies protect their position at the top of league and will take on Lismore at home next Sunday, 15th October at 2pm. All support is greatly appreciated. The team trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7pm at Glencruitten, no prior experience necessary.

Oban Lorne 28-12 Irvine

BT WEST DIVISION 1
SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER
OBAN LORNE 28-12 IRVINE
Oban Lorne welcomed fellow league strugglers Irvine RFC to Glencruitten on Saturday in what was a battle of the leagues bottom placed teams after the first three rounds of league fixtures.
The home team have had a tough start to the season since a narrow home loss to Garnock at the start of the campaign being followed by heavy defeats to Kilmarnock and table topping Allan Glens. Oban were also dealt a blow last weekend with the club being forced into calling off the away fixture to Annan due to a lack of available front row options.
Head Coach Corrie Louw along with Team manager Darrell Williams have rallied the troops over the past 10 days or so helping create a more positive outlook on how the season is going which has helped recent training session becoming more enjoyable and productive for all involved.
The Oban squad for Saturdays match was the strongest group available so far this season. Both Jack Baxter and Jack Strachan returned forming the second row pairing while Hooker/ Winger Radi Maksimov was welcomed into the backline. There was also a notable place on the bench for former club captain Cameron Smith who has been missing for almost a full season due to a knee injury.
Oban started the game well and attacked with intent against a heavy and physical Irvine side. With only 10 minutes gone Oban managed to race into a 10-0 lead with a hard worked try from second row Jack Strachan along with a conversion and penalty from scrum half Finlay Carmichael.
As Oban looked to kick on from their promising start Irvine brought themselves back into the match with their first score of the day narrowing the deficit to five points.
The first half proved to be a close affair with both teams cancelling eachother out at the breakdown area. Oban were struggling to maintain any consistent possession mainly due a misfiring lineout. Oban did manage to extend their lead before the break with two Carmichael penalties taking the score to 16-5. Reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes due to Andy MacDougall’s sin binning for kicking the ball out of the scum on the Irvine tryline, Oban had to work very hard in defence as the away side looked to make their man advantage count.
After seeing out the first half Oban kicked on in the second 40 minutes and extended their lead again with a try from back row Lorne MacLachlan. MacLachlan crossed the line from a well worked move moving to the blindside of the scrum taking the score to 21-5.
Irvine refused to give up and used their direct style of play to great effect in scoring their second try of the day reducing the score to 21-12.
With 20 minutes remaining Oban welcomed back Cammy Smith onto the pitch at inside Centre allowing Winger Maksimov to move into the front row for Daniel Kemp. Smith wasted no time in getting back on the scoresheet bagging a try after a long period of Oban Lorne pressure on the Irvine line. Oban now led 28-12 with another Carmichael conversion.
Oban were comfortable in the remaining 15 minutes or so of the game but never really threatened to score the vital fourth try that would have brought a valuable bonus point. Much credit must go the hard working Irvine team who proved extremely hard to breakdown and provided a huge physical test for the Oban Lorne pack.
In the end Oban Lorne were left delighted with their 28-12 win that will hopefully kick start the team into some promising results over the next month or so with a winnable run of fixtures upcoming.
Supporters at Glencruitten will be hoping for more of the same this Saturday as the club welcome mid table East Kilbride RFC. Saturdays result lifts Oban into 11th place in the table but now in touching distance of the majority of team above them.
Saturdays fixture with East Kilbride kicks off 3pm at Glencruitten. All welcome.
Oban Lorne:
C. Louw, D. Kemp, T. Sutherland, J. Strachan, J. Baxter, A. MacDougall, S. Povey, L. MacLachlan, F. Carmichael, I. Rhys-Roberts, V. Borisov, T. Harrison, C. Wright, D. McLaughlin.

Tower Tens Report

Tower 10’s – Saturday 5th August 2017

Oban Lorne RFC hosted their inaugural “Tower 10’s” Tournament this weekend with six visiting teams and the home club putting out two sides for the competition.
This was the start of the 2017 season for Oban Lorne who will host Hillhead/Jordanhill next weekend at Glencruitten.

Oban Lorne were drawn in a group with Lochaber, Inverness Craig Dunain and Queensferry with Helensburgh, Cowal, Isle of Mull and Oban BaBa’s making up the other group of four. “The format of this competition allows all teams to play 80 minutes of rugby with all teams also taking part in a final of some sort” explained organiser Murray Hamilton, “we are delighted that these teams travelled through to Oban and hopefully they will have had a good weekend of Rugby. It is a good format for pre-season as teams will get to play a variety of other sides and still get tested physically with scrums and lineouts.”

The day kicked off on both pitches at Glencruitten after the showers had cleared and the weather stayed clear for most of the day. Helensburgh and Cowal both recorded wins in their first matches as did Oban Lorne and Craig Dunain.
The home side dominated in the group matches with only Craig Dunain running them close. Good linking play between Captain Craig Wright, Iwan Roberts and Finlay Carmichael was complimented by powerful work in the scrums and at the breakdown from seasoned forwards Corrie Louw, Tommy Sutherland and Daniel Kemp. The younger players in the loose were moving well around the park and the supporting play provided plenty of opportunities for the likes of Stephen Povey, Jack Baxter, Jack Strachan and Vladi Mihov.

The finals were played in the afternoon and the Bucket final was first to be contested for, Cowal played Queensferry in an entertaining match which had the Cowal team coming out on top. The Bowl final was played for between Lochaber and Mull and the Fort William team took the Bowl back to Banavie after a great show of team work and commitment from both teams.

Inverness Craig Dunain secured a place in the Shield final where they faced off against the Oban BaBa’s side which was made up from Oban Lorne 2nd XV players and friends of the club. It was a closely fought affair but the Inverness team won out in the end and played some classy Rugby. Former Oban Lorne player Struan Simpson led the side to victory and it was great to have Craig Dunain boys travel down for this competition.

The cup final was a clash between two West Regional Division 1 sides; Oban Lorne versus Helensburgh brought possibly the most physical match of the day with both teams playing intense and fast flowing Rugby. There was a stalemate in the game until late in the first half when Helensburgh took the lead. The visitors looked to extended their lead shortly after this but Oban’s blushes were spared thanks to some fantastic covering defense from David McLaughlin. Oban managed to even the try count through Tommy Sutherland and Carmichael added the extras just before the break.
The second half worked more in the favour for the home side, Oban kept possession of the ball and changed their tactics to apply more pressure on Helensburgh. Eventually Oban Lorne managed to cross the line again to provide a more comfortable lead and again the extra 2 points added from the wing by Carmichael.
Cracks started to show and late on in the half and after some changes to the Oban team they managed to get 2 more tries which were both converted to secure a 28-5 win for Oban Lorne in the first Tower 10’s cup final.

President Sandy Rokitta was on hand to present the winning teams with their trophies and say a few words of thanks to all those involved. The hope is for this event to become a regular date on the calendar for Oban and organisers hope it will grow in years to come.

Oban Lorne v Hillhead Jordanhill

Oban Lorne are in action next weekend against HIllhead/JOrdanhill. It will be a 2pm kick off at Glencruitten, Hillhead Jordanhill are in the National leagues so this should be a really steep test for Oban Lorne in the run up to their league starting.

The Greenmachine’s first competitive fixture of the 2017/18 season will be away to familiar opponents Garnock RFC in the preliminary round of the West Regional Shield on Saturday 19th of August. The winner of that tie will host a last 16 fixture against the winner of either Helensburgh or Cumbernauld RFC with that tie due to be played on Saturday 26th of August.

Garnock and Oban Lorne will meet again on Saturday 2nd of September in the first West Division 1 fixture of the season. Kick off 3pm at Glencruitten

Oban Lorne Tower Tens!

Oban Lorne Tower 10s Tournament

Oban Lorne kick 2017/18 season off with pre-season 10s Tournament.

The Greenmachine are starting their season on Saturday by hosting their own 10-a-side tournament for the first time. The event will see six visiting teams come to Glencruitten on Saturday 5th of August and the club hopes it will become a regular event in their calendar.
The format for the event is to provide a good physical test for teams and allow coaches to try out players on different positions before the season starts. Games will be 20mins long with five man scrums and line outs, regular 15-a-side rules still apply. This should make for fast flowing and entertaining rugby.
A number of local Argyll teams are participating in the inaugural “Tower 10’s” including, Isle of Mull RFC, Cowal RFC and Helensburgh RFC. There are also teams from further afield including Lochaber RFC, Queensferry RFC and Inverness Craig Dunain RFC.
Oban Lorne welcome everyone to attend on the day, we have a ladies come and try session in the morning followed by the main tournament kicking off at 1130. There will be burgers and food available throughout the day and then a disco on after the tournament which is open to everyone.

Oban Lorne’s pre season preparations continue the following weekend with a tough home match against National Division 3 side Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. Kick off TBC at Glencruitten.

Lions Breakfast (Test 2) & Pre Season Update

Oban Lorne Lions Breakfast

Oban Lorne RFC again opened its doors for the second Saturday morning running for the weekends British & Irish Lions win over New Zealand.
Over 50 club members, players and visitors of the club enjoyed a full cooked breakfast prepared by club volunteers while enjoying the Rugby action Live on the bog screen.
This Saturday the club will again be hosting the same event with all welcome to attend for the deciding Test match. The clubhouse will be open from 8am with Breakfast offered at £8.50 per person. All proceeds will go towards club funds.
Also in attendance at the Breakfast were members of Birmingham and Solihull Rugby Club who are completing a Charity Cycle of the UK to raise funds for a much need Septic Tank at their clubhouse. Four hardy members of their club are undertaking a massive challenge of 1030 miles over 13 days. Oban Lorne President Sandy Rokitta exchanged plaques with the visitors and welcomed to join the West Highland Hospitality that Oban Lorne RFC had to offer.

Oban Lorne Pre Season

Oban Lorne RFC have upped their preparation for the 2017/18 season with the start of pre season training over the past week with Mens and Ladies teams being put through their paces with no fewer than five sessions with Coach Corrie Louw.
Players commenced training on Monday 26th of June with a running fitness Test followed by some Hill Running at Gallanach the following evening. Following that was another fitness/ recovery session at Ganavan Sands on the Wednesday before a tough session up and down Jacobs Ladder on Thursday. Prior to the Lions Fixture on Saturday the commitment of the players was shown with a short session at 7am with a healthy turnout considering the timing. Another five sessions will follow over the next coupke of weeks before the usual Tuesday/ Thursday training pattern resumes.
Oban Lorne RFC begin their 2017/18 competitive season with a tough fixture away to Garnock RFC in the Preliminary Round of the West Regional Shield on the 19th of August. Garnock will also be the first opposition for the Greenmachine as the team from North Ayrshire visit Glencruitten on Saturday 2nd of September.

Oban Lorne 21-14 Kilmarnock

BT WEST DIVISION 1

SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2017

OBAN LORNE 21-14 KILMARNOCK

Oban Lorne and Kilmarnock met at the stunning surroundings of North Connel on Saturday for what was the most important game of the season for both teams. A win for either side would seal survival in West Division 1 for next season while defeat would lead to the drop down into Division 2.
The Men in Green were full of confidence going into the game after an upsurge in performances and results since the turn of the year. Coach Corrie Louw had a full strength team available for the match with the players hungry to make amends for what has largely been a disappointing campaign.
With Kilmarnock recording a home 23-10 win over Oban at the start of the season they too were confident of a promising result and travelled with a strong squad and a large group of vocal supporters.
It was the visitors who started strongest in the game and held the majority of possession with some good carries form their powerful back row players. Kilmarnock’s back three were to impress all day by dealing very well with some challenging kicks from Oban stand off Dave MacCabe.
Oban weathered the early storm and found themselves 6-0 up after 20 minutes with two well taken penalty kicks from scrum half Finlay Carmichael. The dominance of the Oban scrum was starting to have an effect in the match while Kilmarnock’s inconsistent lineout aided the cause for Oban Lorne.
Both teams exchanged missed penalty attempts around the half hour mark with Carmichael’s long range effort falling just short for Oban.
With the majority of play taking place in the middle of the park no try scoring opportunities came of note until the last 5 minutes of the first half.
A clever chip by Craig Wright into the right hand corner of the pitch was first gathered but then miss controlled by the Kilmarnock defender allowing Oban Winger Tom Harrison to gather the ball and touch down under the posts for Oban’s first try of the game. A successful conversion from Carmichael increased the score to 13-0 going into halftime.
Oban were in buoyant mood at the break knowing they were largely in control of the match and required the next score in the second 40 minutes that would effectively seal the win. The team were though wary of Kilmarnock who possessed several impressive players and who had the potential to turn the game.
The momentum gained at the end of the first half continued into the first 10 minutes of the second half of play as Oban dominated field position and territory. The continuing dominance at the scrum was turning possession over on numerous occasions giving Oban a great attacking platform to work from.
Oban extended their lead on 50 minutes as powerful winger Callum MacLachlan crashed over through a few Killie defenders increasing the score to 18-0. MacLachlan had been getting his hands on the ball on at any opportunity possible in the second half much to the frustration of the away side who found him very difficult to stop.
With an 18 point lead Oban should have closed out the game but as has happened many times this season the team decided to make things very hard for themselves.
On 55 minutes Oban were reduced to 14 men with Centre Malcolm Kavanagh being sin-binned for an alleged dangerous tackle. Kavanagh had defended extremely well in the Oban midfield so far and would be a big miss defensively. Oban also mad a change at this stage with Prop Alex Banks making way for experienced veteran Prop Andrew Johnston.
Kilmarnock took full advantage of their man advantage scoring their first try of the day narrowing the score to 18-7. Shortly after Oban hit back to calm the nerves of the big home crowd with anther Finlay Carmichael penalty increasing the lead to 21-7.
Oban made a couple more changes to the team with youngsters Jack Strachan and Daniel Speirs coming on to provide a bit more pace to proceedings.
Despite being restored to 15 men Kilmarnock were now in control of the match and were throwing everything they could at the Oban defence to launch a spirited comeback.
Oban Lorne were dealt a huge blow going into the last 15 minutes of the game with Malcolm Kavanagh receiving a second yellow card for an off the ball incident with a member of the Kilmarnock team. The home side would again play with only 14 men for the rest of the game.
The majority of the large North Connel crowd were silenced with 10 minutes to go as Kilmarnock used an overlap out wide well to score in the corner. A fantastic conversion attempt narrowed the score to 21-14 taking the visitor’s right back into the match.
Fortunately for the men in green the players dug deep in the closing stages of the game with some heroic tackling and clever territorial kicking managing to nullify the Kilmarnock attack.
As the fulltime whistle blew Oban were extremely relived at the outcome of the match sealing their survival of the team’s position in the league. The Oban players and supports showed their respect to the opposition who fought extremely well in the match and do not deserve to drop down a league given the attacking style of rugby they play. Kilmarnock RFC should come straight back into the league next year with the squad they possess and everyone at Oban Lorne wishes them well for the season ahead.
Saturdays win lifted Oban Lorne two points above Kilmarnock into 8th place in the league. Oban Lorne play their final match of the season away to mid table Irvine RC this Saturday. Kick off 3pm.
Training continues every Tuesday and Thursday evening at Glencruitten from 7-9pm, all welcome.
T. Sutherland, R. MacQueen, A. Banks, V. Mihov, A. MacDougall, S. Smith, L. MacLachlan, C. Louw, F. Carmichael, D. McCabe, C. MacLachlan, M. Kavanagh, C. Wright, T. Harrision.
A. Johnston, J. Strachan, D. Speirs, V. Borisov

BT WEST DIVISION 4
GLASGOW UNI MEDICS P-P ARGYLL & BUTE
Argyll & Bute RFC’s last away match of the season was postponed away to Glasgow University Medics on Saturday as Argyll failed to raise enough players for the fixture. A new date for the game will be set by the West Regional Leagues Committee.
This Saturday Argyll & Bute play their last home game of the season as the welcome local rivals Cowal RFC from Dunoon to Glencruitten. Cowal RFC have been performing well this season and just recoded a fantastic 29-27 win over promotion hopefuls Lanark RFC last weekend.
Saturdays game kicks off at 3pm a Glencruitten.

BT WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 2
ANNAN WARRIORS P-P OBAN LORNE LADIES
With Annan Warriors RFC no playing a Quarter Final National Bowl tie this Sundays league meeting between Annan and Oban Ladies has been postponed. The next scheduled game for Oban Lorne Ladies is away to Lismore RFC in Edinburgh on the 9th of April.

Newton Stewart claim West Division 1 title at North Connel

BT WEST DIVISION 1
OBAN LORNE 15-18 NEWTON STEWART
VISITORS WIN WEST DIVISION 1 TITLE AT NORTH CONNEL
Oban Lorne welcomed title chasing Newton Stewart as Saturdays opposition in what was a very important game for both teams. The Greenmachine were in the hunt for some much needed league points to lift themselves away from the relegation zone while the visitors knew that a win would secure the league title and promotion to the National League for the first time in the clubs history.
Due to a frozen pitch at Glencruitten the game was moved to the beautiful surroundings of the back up North Connel pitch which was in perfect condition for the game.
Oban despite missing some key players such as Prop Robin MacQueen, Second Rows Jack Baxter and Jack Strachan and Stand Off Dave McCabe still managed to field a very strong squad confident of taking a win after some promising performances in recent weeks.
Referee Andy Summers began the match in front of a large North Connel crowd with a number of away supporters making the long trip to Oban.
The visitors attacked well early on and were using their big runners in the back row to out the Oban defence under pressure. It was Oban however who would take the lead after only five minutes. A poor pass in the away backline was intercepted by Oban captain Craig Wright. Wright broke free into the 22 where he was eventually brought down by the scrambling defence. The ball was spun wide through the hand of the Oban team where it eventually found player/ coach Corrie Louw who bundled over the line for a 5-0 lead. Scrum Half Finlay Carmichaels conversion added another two points.
The looked to respond with a penalty attempt that fell wide off the posts after a very long period of advantage played from Oban being offside.
On the 12 minute mark the match was stopped due to a serious knee injury sustained to Newton Stewarts 17 year old Stand Off. The player was dealt with superbly by the pitch side medics and much thanks must be given to the local emergency services who were on the scene in good time and controlled to situation very well. Thought of all at Oban Lorne are with the player for a speedy recovery.
After a 30 minute break play was resumed deep in the Oban Lorne half. Newton Stewart pressed well for a try and were rewarded with their efforts with two tries in a 5 minute period racing into a 12-7 lead.
Oban’s discipline at the breakdown was becoming an issue in the game and were gaining no 50/50 decisions from the referee. The men in Green were deduced to 14 men on the half hour mark with Malcolm Kavanagh being removed from the field by referee Summers due a successive number of penalties given away by the team.
Playing with 14 men has seemed to bring out the best in Oban Lorne this season and this proved to be the same again with increased effort levels throughout the team being rewarded with a well taken Carmichael penalty to reduce the score to 12-10 at halftime.
Into the second half Newton Stewart started well and controlled the majority of territory and possession. The Oban defence however was very strong with some fantastic tackling and competing for the ball at the breakdown.
As the Oban defence soaked up the Newton Stewart pressure the home side were again reduced to 14 players with second row Vladi Mihov being sinbinned for an off the ball incident with an opponent. The visitors made the most of their man advantage and slotted over two penalties in a shirt space of time to increase the lead to 18-10.
With 20 minutes remaining Oban hit back through captain Craig Wright. A clearing Oban kick was knocked straight into Wrights hands in a mixup between the away sides fullback and winger. Wright raced clear from 40 meters out to score and bring Oban back into the match. Carmichael’s conversion narrowly missed meaning Oban still trailed by three points.
The second Oban Lorne try of the day seemed to change the pattern of the game with the visitors looking nervy going into the closing stages . Oban now had most of the ball and attacked well bringing in powerful runners such and Callum MacLachlan to the match.
A powerful Oban driving maul was also dismantling the away forward pack at times along with a dominant scrum. The Oban lineout which misfired at times in the first half was now functioning well with the majority of throws going long to replacement back row Stephen Povey.
Oban pressed for a winning score but were undone with some fantastic defensive work on many occasions and a few unforced errors with the ball in hand.
The Newton Stewart players and supporters were both delighted and relieved with the noise of the final whistle meaning they had secured the West Division 1 title for the first ever time.
Despite the late dominance from Oban Lorne the better team on the day had won the game with the visitors controlling the game well for the majority of the 80 minutes. Newton Stewart are worthy league winners and everyone at Oban Lorne wishes them the best of luck in National Division 3 next season.
With losing within seven points Oban Lorne secured a vital bonus point to narrow the gap to 8th placed Kilmarnock RFC to only five points with two matches in hand over their Ayrshire rivals.
Oban Lorne will hope to get onto level terms with Kilmarnock in the league as the team welcome mid table Garnock RFC to Glencruitten this Saturday. Kick off is scheduled for 3pm with the game planned to be played at Glencruitten.
R. Brodie, R. Maksimov, T. Sutherland, A. MacDougall, V. Mihov, A. Franzo, L. MacLachlan, C. Louw, F. Carmichael, R. Bertrand, C. MacLachlan, M. Kavanagh, C. Wright, V. Borisov, I. Rhys Roberts.
A. Banks, S. Povey, D. Speirs, T. Harrison.

BT WEST REGIONAL SHIELD SEMI FINAL
Oban Lorne still await on the outcome of their semi final opponents in the West Regional Shield with the Quarter final toe between East Kilbride and Carrick RFC falling victim of a frozen pitch on Saturday. The game will now be played this Saturday with the winners facing Oban Lorne at Glencruitten on Saturday 25th of February.

BT WEST DIVISION 4
COWAL 53-13 ARGYLL & BUTE
Argyll & Bute played their 10th competitive match of the season on Saturday as they travelled to take on Argyll rivals Cowal RFC at Dunoon Stadium.
Argyll fielded a strong team but were undone on the day with a number of players playing out of position particularly in the pack. After leading 3-0 Argyll eventually fell down 53-13 playing most of the game with 14 players due to injury. Despite the loss Argyll were happy with their overall performance and managed to score a couple of well worked tries.
This Saturday Argyll & Bute travel to take on Shawlands RFC in Glasgow.

BT WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 2
OBAN LORNE LADIES V ANNAN WARRIORS
Oban Lorne Ladies have their biggest game of the season so far this Sunday as they welcomed second placed Annan Warriors to Glencruitten. Only one point separates the sides at the top of the league with the winning team this Sunday taking a massive step towards promotion to Division 1.
A close game is in prospect with the teams meeting in the BT Women’s Bowl a few week ago where Annan ran out narrow 10-8 winners.
Oban Lorne ladies are currently unbeaten in the league and should have a strong squad to choose from for this weeks game. Kick off on Sunday is scheduled for 2pm at Glencruitten.

Oban Lorne 3-6 Annan

BT WEST DIVISION 1
OBAN LORNE 3-6 ANNAN
Oban Lorne welcomed mid table Annan RFC to Glencruitten on Saturday for the second meeting between the sides this season. Oban have never beaten Annan who recorded a narrow 10-0 win over the Greenmachine back in October.
A win in this fixture was much needed for the home side who have struggled for any consistency this season and find themselves sitting second bottom in the league table.
At a damp and dreary Glencruitten both teams failed to create any notable attacking phases of play in what proved to be a dismal 80 minutes of rugby.
Oban selected eight able bodied front row trained players for the game to try and get at the Annan pack. Dominance in the scrum was a feature for the whole match for Oban, but for some reason the home side couldn’t capitalize on this. The men in Green also lost powerful winger Calum MacLachlan to a yellow card early on for an off the ball tackle, an incident that could easily have warranted a tougher punishment from local referee Willie Malone who did his best to let the game flow for the benefit of both teams.
Not a single try was scored in this match, with neither team looking like scoring throughout. An early Annan penalty gave them a 3-0 lead. The scores were quickly level as Oban converted a penalty, a further Annan penalty took the score to 6-3 at half time and that’s how the match finished with a very forgettable display from both sides in the second half.
A Notable performance from Oban number eight for the day Vladi Mihov though, played with his heart on his sleeve all game making big hits and countless turnovers. Oban Lorne failed to capitalize on three 5 metre scrums in the game that would usually bring a try.
Saturdays result was a disappointing start to 2017 for Oban Lorne who have only won three out of eleven fixtures this season.
The Greenmachine will look to get back to winning ways this Saturday as they welcome Argyll rivals and bottom placed side to Glencruitten. Oban won the reverse fixture 47-7 early in the season and a repeat performance this weekend is a must. Kick off 2pm, all welcome